The Face of Evil
Reinhard Heydrich was one of Hitler s most evil henchmen. Praised by the Führer as being the man with an iron heart, Heydrich became one of the key architects of the Third Reich's horrific genocide. After his 1942 assassination, the murder of more than two million people at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblina was codenamed 'Action Reinhard'. Heydrich joined the Nazi Party in 1931, and rose quickly through the ranks of the SS. By the age of twenty-nine he had become an SS Brigadier General, and his ruthless ambition led many senior Nazis to believe that he was the natural successor to Hitler. It was Heydrich's initiative to create the Einsatzgruppen, paramilitary units which were established before Operation Barbarossa to murder Jews and political operatives of the Communist party. In 1941 Heydrich was made Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Supremely confident of his authority, he often drove alone through the province in his open-top, dark-green Mercedes. British-trained Czech partisans took advantage of this gesture, and in 1942 carried out a daring assassination attempt. Heydrich was mortally wounded in the ambush and died a week later in hospital. The reprisals that followed were brutal: more than 15,000 Czechs were murdered and the town of Lidice was razed to the ground. In this critically acclaimed biography, which includes interviews with Heydrich's surviving family, the author creates a complete portrait of pure evil.
27th May 1942
World War II: Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich is shot in Prague - dying of his wounds on June 4th. His death prompts savage reprisals. As Charles Whiting perceptively points out in this absorbing study of one of Hitler's most ruthless henchmen, it was literally impossible for those directing the British war effort ever remotely to comprehend the depths of depravity into which their adversaries had sunk...